Head of development Simon Eastaugh runs through how Fremantle fared in a 16 v 16 scratch match against Gold Coast on Friday.
Freo competed all game but Gold Coast won the free-flowing contest 12.11 (83) to 11.4 (70).
What was your overall impression of the game?
I think what we’ve seen over the course of the four games is some steady improvement with our method. I can’t question the effort of the players in all four games but today I think we took a big step forward with the way we were shifting the ball, using the ball and our chemistry.
A standout feature was that we were able to score a lot more freely and some individuals definitely stepped up in that area, to give us some scoring options.
What did you make of Jarvis Pina’s efforts down back?
Jarvis’s leadership down back was really impressive and he’s continued to grow in that role. I think his composure with the ball in hand was a feature of his game today after defending well and really leading by example. His voice was excellent and he’s making really positive steps towards becoming that senior player that we’d like to see.
How about Michael Frederick and his three goals?
Michael’s growing in his role. He’s been learning our game plan inside and out. He’s a really diligent and hungry learner when it comes to understanding how we want to play. He’s played in the wing role, he’s been playing as a high half forward and he’s building that capacity that will give him every opportunity to play senior football in the future.
Cam McCarthy had a strong first half, what did you make of him?
It was a real return to form for Cam. Particularly with his ball use, his kicking stood out as a real feature and he gave us those opportunities up forward. He’s really stepped up that contested side of his game as a senior player amongst this younger group. I thought he progressed today in getting himself towards his best form.
How was Luke Valente in the midfield?
It certainly was closer to a consistent four quarter performance for Luke. He led by example today and was very effective at times, particularly with his body work and his ball use under pressure. He brought his leadership around the contest, making sure that we were organised and ready to compete as hard as we can.
How did the midfield go overall?
Tom North, Mitch Crowden…Connor Blakely played a half. We had a pretty consistent and balanced midfield today. Tom is another one of those players who has improved each week and he’s growing in confidence with his ability to compete against what are effectively other AFL players.
The last time we played Gold Coast in a scratch match, they put us to the sword and today was a much more competitive result. It gave the players a fair amount of confidence, especially after backing up after a five-day break. It shows that there’s a strong character amongst the group.
Lloyd Meek was strong again in the ruck?
Lloyd’s starting to string some performances together and his follow up has been a feature in the past two games, today included. Lloyd’s starting to take some marks around the ground and is really competing hard down the line to nullify contests if he couldn’t mark it. He’s making big strides and it’s been pleasing for him, the progress he’s made, while we’ve been here on the Gold Coast.
Michael Walters was raving on the sidelines about Leno Thomas, what did you make of his game?
In the past two games Leno's been given the challenge of playing down back when he’s trained as a forward. Leno was really positive today with what he was able to produce. He used the ball well, he’s really courageous, he loves to stand in the space and mark in front of the key forwards leading out. His hardness around the footy was a feature today. It’s a good step forward for him and he’s really adapting to the AFL environment.
Liam Henry was on limited minutes, how was he?
It was positive that Liam was able to get out there today. He played the first half and it was almost like a conditioning session for him. As much as we’d love to keep him out there for four quarters, it’s really important that he continues to progress with his conditioning. I thought that he showed some signs today that were really positive and should give us a great deal of hope for the future.
How is Dillon O’Reilly going?
Dillon was probably our lone hand today as our only key back. He had some really strong moments and some moments that he’ll learn and get better from. It’s a progression with Dillon, particularly with the step up against some legitimate AFL players. He’ll be richer for the experience.
Any other comments from the game?
I thought across the board, you don’t really want to individualise, but I thought that every players’ effort was backed up by some method. Our style of play and game plan are really sinking in and the players are feeling a lot more comfortable with doing their bit out on the field, particularly under fatigue.